Social status is a force enlightenment thinking fails to incorporate into its model of reality, like anything else that is not readily empirically validated.
Yet nothing humans do can be understood without understanding status. Humans are very much like other social creatures. Monkeys and dogs have status hierarchies similar to what people have, but we can never look at this objectively because the enlightenment religion insists humans are blank-slate rational agents separate from the rest of nature.
Status does 2 main things for people:
-Enables reproduction with desirable mates.
-Increases odds of survival. When a famine hits, social status decides who dies first once there’s no longer enough food for everyone.
Penguins have a behavior in Antarctic winter storms where they cluster tightly and inividuals rotate from the center of the group to the edges and then back again when they get cold.
Humans are like penguins except we typically stay near wherever in the group we’re at. The elite stay insulated in the center at all times while the losers live their whole lives on the fringe taking the full brunt of the Antarctic blizzard. They are always one small emergency away from death and when some of them fall by the wayside, no one cares.
When we understand this core fact about the human condition. All the fashions, class anxiety, shameless imitation, and sucking up is suddenly decoded. We’re all descended from people who could beg the last crumbs off the bread merchant while the other poor loser with less appeal went hungry and died.
This is like the pressures exerted on domesticated dogs. Every last one has the ability to look sad and shamelessly beg for scraps seared into its genetic code with a white-hot blowtorch.
We need only see how people move in herds when it comes to clothing, opinions, jobs, politics to understand how the group life has selected for human behavior. Otherwise, no one would be willing to work 40+ hours a week wasting their lives on things they hate so they can have the house, car, and new clothing required for basic respectablity.
One of the most extraordinary things about human nature is a typical person who would be happy to just eat doritos and watch TV can easily be made to labor 12 hours a day if they think they can get social status that will keep them safe, make people like them, and get them laid. Humans, like all living things, are lazy by nature but when they feel they must they toil like worker bees.
An instinctive need for status powerful enough to turn a couch potato into a workaholic is an obvious, low-effort lever of mass control that only secular societies are stupid enough to ignore. As a result, parasites are free to hack the status system with no fear of punishment, ultimately bringing the whole structure down in flames once degenerate psychopaths crowd the top of the pyramid.
A functional society guards the avenues to status as jealously as the state guards its monopoly over violence. High status people are models everyone else follows, especially in a modern society where the most famous people are known to everyone and god-like in their social influence.
Manipulating the status system is more effective and far less energetically expensive than direct coercion. Most people do not have the level of abstraction to understand this form of control let alone begin to resist it. Thus as the state is downstream of society, status shaming is upstream of state violence.
The successful ruler relies on shaming and social demotion 90% of the time with state coercion and books of laws only resolving outliers. The silly secular society tries to reverse this ratio, with predictable results. The establishment now tries to shame people back into obedience but that doesn’t work as well as it used to when most people are rootless individuals just living for a paycheck.
Recently, an angel was cast down from the upper middle class layer of Heaven called Silicon Valley. Instead of transforming into a vile demon doomed to live in hell, James Damore found instead that he was rewarded with far more status and fame than Heaven ever offered him.
Many have pointed out that Damore will probably take a huge hit to his usual 300k-a-year salary, but money is valuable in relation to social status.
An upper middle class programmer makes more money than an upper prole policeman but is lower status in much of society, especially in the eyes of women.
Programmers are stereotyped as wimpy, socially awkward dweebs. However they may be paid, they are hirelings with no power to speak of. Although cops are disliked by many, they enjoy a certain prestige because of their power to administer controlled violence.
Status is linked to power and money alone is just one form of power that generally has to be used with other forms of influence. As the election of Trump demonstrates, money is not enough when the status game has been lost. Someone like Damore who has lost money but gained status, will probably be able to translate his influence into riches anyway. Money is a proxy for resources, high-status people get first dibs on resources and mates in every society from hunter-gatherer bands to massive nation-states.